Tip 1 - Use Titles or Headings That Match The Jobs You Want
With employers receiving hundreds of resumes you must make sure that your resume hooks an employer's attention within a 5-second glance. A great way to do this is to use job titles and skill headings that relate to and match the jobs you want. For example, compare the headings Roger used in his before resume to the headings used in his after resume.
Accounting / Recordkeeping
Management of A/R and A/P Accounts
Computerized Accounting Applications
Departmental Administration / Recordkeeping
Which set of headings are the strongest for an Accounts Payable / Receivable Manager position? Even though Roger's title was Accounting Assistant, he actually managed over 1,000 A/R and A/P accounts. Using skill headings that market the true nature of Roger's job duties will generate him more interviews and higher salary offers.
Tip 2 - Use a Design That Grabs Attention
Employers make snap judgments when glancing at your resume. If they see unrelated job titles or skills the likelihood is very high that they will make an immediate assumption that you are not qualified for the job you want. Adding to this problem is the fact that employers don't have the time to read through each of your job descriptions to determine if you have the skills they need.
You Must Do That For Them! The design of your resume must highlight the most important information about your work experience, skills and education. At first glance this information forms the image that employers have of your skills and abilities.
Tip 3 - Create Content That Sells
Resume design should get attention but it's really the content of your resume, the descriptions you include of your skills and abilities, that determine how many interviews you generate--as well as the level of salary offers you receive. Compare the before and after statements from Roger's resume shown below:
Maintained records for accounts receivable and accounts payable accounts.
Managed over 1,000 accounts receivable and payable accounts, working directly with the Chief Financial Officer.
Which of these examples presents Roger as being more qualified, having higher skills and worth a higher salary? As this example illustrates, our image of Roger is changed and elevated when we read the after example.
Tip 4 - Quantify and Use Power Words
As Roger's after statement demonstrates, using numbers to describe your achievements and responsibilities can greatly expand and elevate your image. Using numbers and quantifying creates vivid images in our mind when we read them, whereas general statements like the before examples are easy to skip over or forget. Typically the more specific you can be in describing your duties the better.
Another strategy that is extremely important in controlling the image that employers develop about you--is to use Power Words or verbs that match the level of position you want. For example, Roger wants to use the experience he's gained to move into a management position. To strengthen his image he should use as many "management oriented" words as possible. Which example below do you think is the strongest?
Gave work assignments to staff of entry level accounting clerks.
Directed workflow, supervised and trained accounting staff performing posting to general ledger, accounts receivable and payable accounts.
Look out for more tips next week has two syllables.